Akseli Gallen Kallela | the artist

The artist Akseli Gallen Kallela
Pseudonym: Axel Waldemar Gallén
Born April 26 1865, Pori, Finland.
Died March 7 1931, Stockholm, Sweden.
Style and technique of the artist: Painting,

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A leading figure in modern Finnish painting

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The Gallen-Kallela Museum

Axel Waldemar Gallén was born in Pori, Finland, on the 26th April 1865. In 1876 he moved to the capital, Helsinki, where he attended a Swedish-language high school and studied in the evening classes of the Drawing School of the Finnish Fine Arts Association (1878-1881) and at the Central School of Applied Arts (1880-1881). From 1881-1884 he studied at the Drawing School of the Finnish Fine Arts Association, then from 1884-1889 he continued his studies in Paris at the Académie Julian, the Atelier Cormon and other schools…

The most important themes from his work have been included in this exhibition, beginning with his education in Paris and Helsinki, the depiction of the Finnish people and its nature particularly Karelia, his interest in symbolism, and his experiments with other media such as graphic art. The heart of the exhibition is formed by the paintings that were inspired by the national epic poem The Kalevala, by means of which Gallen-Kallela reached a high point within Finnish art and which brought him international renown. These paintings can be regarded as the expression of a growing national awareness that did not limit itself to painting but also manifested itself in, for example, the music of Jean Sibelius and the architecture of Eliel Saarinen…

Lake Keitele’